Growing Up in a Small Town: Pros and Cons

I grew up in a small town in South Dakota where there isn’t much variety in people or scenery. Moving to Minnesota for college was a huge change for me, and I think that is because the atmosphere of a bigger place, with more people, is A LOT different. By weighing the pros and cons of living in a small town, you can tackle the change of environment when experiencing larger places.

Pro: Everyone knows everyone.

  • Being surrounded by people that you have known since you were a little kid can be a very positive thing. You pretty much have the whole town as a support system, (but that could be because you are related to most of them in some way). In school, you may not be friends with everyone but you know everyone by name.

Con: Everyone knows everyone.

  • While being surrounded by people you know can be a positive thing, it can also be negative because just as how you know everyone, they know you, or at least they think they do. I think people in small towns tend to be more judgmental. Since everyone is close, they think they have the right to give input on your decisions, or just talk about what you should do behind your back. 

Pro: Neighbors are friendly

  • Living in a small town is convenient. Your best friends are right across the street. Your parents don’t care if you have sleepovers during the week because if they need you to load the dishwasher, they know exactly where you are. The neighbors next to you love to have you over to barbeques and movie nights. Your mom is able to get a cup of sugar whenever she pleases.

Con: With friendliness, comes nosiness.

  • The neighbors are always willing to spare a cup of sugar and a few burgers, but that does not mean that they won’t tell your mom about how you sneak into your house on weekends past curfew or blow snow in your yard during winter.

Pro: You don’t get lost

  • In a small town there are not many streets, round-abouts, or traffic, so it isn’t very easy to get lost, and if you do, every gravel road leads you to a paved road, so that way your GPS can lead you back to safety.

Con: Slow drivers

  • In small towns, everyone goes at their own pace. The “Sunday Drivers” are out every day.

Pro: Less smog makes it easier to breathe

  • Small towns have no big factories plants to pollute the air

Con: On the downside…

  • The air may not be polluted with chemicals or enzymes, but it does reek of manure, which makes you not want to breathe

Pro: There are no fast food joints

  • With no temptations, managing your weight isn’t so bad

Con: Cravings

  • When you have a craving for a McDonald's McChicken, you can’t just go get one. You have to drive over a half an hour.


Now that we have went over some of the pros and cons of living in a small town, we can figure out how to adapt to a larger environment.

  1.  In a larger area, you are not going to know half of the people that you see. So, when you don’t feel like putting on makeup to go shopping, you don’t have to worry about Karen asking you if you are feeling okay because your dark circles under your eyes are showing.

  2. People in larger areas generally do not care about your life, so they are less likely to be nosy about what you have going on. Which means you can order pizza every night of the week if you want without your neighbors tallying your pizza count through their window.

  3. You become a better driver in a larger environment. You get used to the round-abouts and the three-lane roads, and flashing the middle finger becomes easier with every drive!

  4. There is a large variety of food selections in larger areas. I’m talking not only Taco Johns, but Taco Bell as well. Also, larger areas have gyms that you can go work off those tacos.

See? Change is good. It is good to push yourself to experience different things. I will forever be grateful for my small town because it has prepared me for real world situations. But seriously, if anyone could invent a way for the manure smell to not travel through car vents, you would be a millionaire.